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Monday, January 19, 2009

Derby vs QPR - Compilation of Match Reports

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The Guardian/Mark Tallentire - Few positive points for Clough in Derby debut and none for club
- Nigel Clough directs Derby from the sidelines during his first game in charge but could not prevent a 2-0 defeat against QPR. Photograph: Tony Marshall/EMPICS

Nigel Clough pointed out that defeat in his first game had only served to highlight the problems Derby are facing. As scrabbling around for pluses goes it was hardly inspiring but for the time being the old club will take succour from the relaxed presence of their most successful manager's son.

As the 15th man to step into the office since Brian Clough walked out in 1973 much is expected of Nigel but after the fantasy dismissal of Manchester United in the Carling Cup semi-final first leg two weeks ago, when he was introduced to the Derby crowd from the stand, this deserved defeat saw them slip to 20th and focused minds as the club consider the real possibility of back-to-back relegations.

"It has been fun in training with the new manager," said Martin Albrechtsen, the Derby defender whose slack intervention led to QPR's first goal. "He has been joining in and he can still play a bit."

At 42 the shame is that the former England forward cannot pull on his boots when Derby face the return leg at Old Trafford tomorrow and an FA Cup visit from Nottingham Forest on Friday, but at least the matches will offer high-profile trials for some of the ludicrously large 38-man squad he inherited from Paul Jewell.

Low key was the approach on Saturday, when Clough emerged from the dug-out on only a couple of occasions to make quick points to his team. Sadly, the QPR goals were both due to defensive errors, the Dane making the first when he cleared from Heidar Helguson but only as far as Wayne Routledge, who scored from eight yards. The second came when Routledge skinned the left-back Mo Camara and squared for Mikele Leigertwood to confirm their second away win of the season.

"The manager was not happy at half-time or full-time," said Albrechtsen. "There was no shouting. It was a necessary team talk." There will be more of those before the season is over but now the Derby faithful would settle for an 18th-place finish, the position they started from on Saturday and the one Clough Sr took them to in his first season with the club.

Man of the match Wayne Routledge (Queens Park Rangers) - The Guardian

Telegraph/ Trevor Haylett - Nigel Clough shows a hint of steel as Derby fall flat

Just when new Derby manager Nigel Clough needed a performance of quality to maintain the feelgood factor he got a damp squib of a display instead.

Footballers can be the biggest party-poopers of all. After their thrilling Carling Cup victory over Manchester United – Clough had taken over but was not yet officially in charge – it was unthinkable that they should perform as poorly as this. And on a day that also saw the launch of Derby's 125th anniversary celebrations and the unveiling of a bust of record goalscorer Steve Bloomer.

Refreshingly, Clough, taking over 42 years after his dad Brian, did not hold back in his criticism of his players. He even named names, an area that far more experienced managers shy away from. But you suspect that he is such a likeable, decent man that even this cossetted, independent, generation will take it on the chin and resolve to do better.

"We had experienced players and Andy Todd, having been man of the match against Manchester United, struggled today," said Clough. "Martin [Albrechtsen] has come in at right-back, probably not his best position, and struggled a bit. Rob Hulse never really held the ball first half, nor Luke Varney. So you're looking for those players to perform at least to a certain standard."

With confidence a fragile asset in a team who had only one win in their previous nine League matches, it was crucial that Derby scored first. Instead it was Rangers who went on the front foot with Wayne Routledge capitalising on two mistakes to fire home at the far post.

Albrechtsen was one of those at fault and the defender admitted: "We looked a bit tired, we did not seem to have another gear to push them back. Of course the manager was not satisfied with our performance. He was not happy at half-time and he was not happy at full time.

"He tried to get us going and keep our heads up and tell us what to do and what not to do. There was no crazy shouting. It was a necessary team talk. It has been fun in training with the new manager and also simple. That is his philosophy. There has not been any long meetings."

Rangers, who made life extremely difficult with their energy and willingness to get in the face of their opposite number and who made light of a serious knee injury to captain Martin Rowlands, went further ahead when Mo Camara failed to put the shackles on Routledge and allowed the winger, newly signed from Aston Villa, to set up Mikele Leigertwood.

Clough will be expecting a far better response tomorrow when Derby attempt to get the better of United for the second time in two weeks. Avoiding an Old Trafford defeat would give them a place in the Carling Cup final while Friday brings the 'East Midlands final' with a visit from Forest in the FA Cup fourth round.

When Brian Clough, Old Big 'Ead himself, first met his Derby players in the summer of 1967 he told them: "You've got three weeks to make an impression on me and if I don't rate you, you're out."

You fancy the rhetoric from Clough Jnr will not be so hard-edged but his players now know he is not a soft touch.
Match details
Derby (4-4-2): Carroll; Albrechtsen, Todd, Nyatanga, Camara; Barnes (Barazite 70), Green, Addison, Commons; Varney (Davies 59), Hulse. Subs: Bywater (g), Savage, Teale. Booked: Camara, Todd.
QPR (4-5-1): Cerny; Connolly, Stewart, Gorkss, Delaney; Routledge, Leigertwood, Mahon, Rowlands (Ephraim 12), Cook (Alberti 90); Helguson (Di Carmine 64).
Subs: Hall, Blackstock. Referee: K. Wright (Cambridgeshire). Telegraph

Derby Evening Telegraph- Clough: Senior men below par as visitors allowed to take over
Monday 19 January 2009

Derby County boss Nigel Clough felt a number of the team’s experienced players were well below par against Queens Park Rangers.

The Rams slipped to a third successive league defeat and their sixth in eight Championship fixtures.

There were boos from supporters at half time and on the final whistle as Rangers became the fifth team this season to leave Pride Park Stadium with the three points.

Wayne Routledge and Mikele Leigertwood scored for the visitors in the first half.

“You can look round the dressing room and there is not anybody really who can hold their hand up and say ‘well, yes, I performed well today’,” said Clough.

"We had experienced players out there – Andy Todd, having been man-of-the-match probably against Manchester United last week, struggled.

"Martin Albrechtsen’s come in at right-back, probably not his best position, and struggled a bit.

"Rob Hulse never really held the ball first half, nor did Luke Varney.

"So you’re looking for those players to perform at least to a certain standard.

"I think there were a few people below par.

"Basically, I didn’t think people did their basic jobs.

"The strikers didn’t hold the ball up, the wide men didn’t go wide and get crosses in – something we’ve taken for granted over the last few years where we’ve been.

“We were also far too deep as a back four.”

Clough was unhappy with the reaction of the players to falling a goal behind after 22 minutes.

“Up until that point, we’d started reasonably brightly and it was probably their [Rangers’] first serious attack,” he said.

"You can do so much to try and get a positive feel about the place and then when that goal went in, everything seemed to revert to type, which is something we’re going to have to deal with.

“The best way to deal with it is not to concede the first goal and keep it at 0-0, which we did against Manchester united last week but couldn’t do against QPR.” The Rams

- See Also:

- Initial Earlier compilation of Reports and comments re QPR over Derby

- Additional Derby vs QPR Match Reports

- LoftforWords' Clive Whittingham Match Report

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